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New York Times, Friday, June 22, 2018

Author:
Andrew Kingsley
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
124/29/20168/8/20182
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0013053
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.55010
Andrew Kingsley

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 70, Blocks: 36 Missing: {JQX} This is puzzle # 11 for Mr. Kingsley. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Andrew Kingsley notes:
This puzzle went through two other iterations. Ironically, the seed entry LHOOQ (the Marcel Duchamp work of Mona Lisa with a mustache) ... read more

This puzzle went through two other iterations. Ironically, the seed entry LHOOQ (the Marcel Duchamp work of Mona Lisa with a mustache) got the first puzzle rejected. As themeless revisions often go, I had to scrap the entire puzzle. Well, not the entire puzzle. I kept HOMOEROTIC. You can't kill all your darlings.

Speaking of darlings, Boswords is back! Last year, John Lieb and I ran a Boston crossword tournament to great success, and we're gearing up for round two this year. So, if you are around on July 29, come on down. All the tournament information can be found at boswords.org. Hope to see some of you there! And if you can't attend, you can also order all of the tournament puzzles from the website and enjoy from home.

Jeff Chen notes:
This grid exhibits a curious property for themelesses – more of the long answers are going in the down direction than the ... read more

This grid exhibits a curious property for themelesses – more of the long answers are going in the down direction than the across. Usually, constructors try to orient all their feature stuff horizontally, since Americans are more used to reading left to right, compared to up to down (not so in other parts of the world!) My impression after solving was that there weren't many long feature entries at all, but that's not correct – there are a solid 12 entries of 8+ letters! Huh.

A little secret: any grid can be "flipped" about a diagonal axis from the NW to the SE (see right). All the entries are the same, simply presented in a different format. But what a difference presentation makes. The grid to the right looks so much more like a regular themeless to me, packed chock full of long goodness. I'M INNOCENT, VIDEO GAMES, TELEPROMPTER, PURPLE STATES, STARGAZING – so much that I'd be TANTALIZED!

Either way though, the grid has too much crossword glue for me to consider it for POW! contention: SYST RIAA TOLET AIRE IMET ATT is way over today's (very high) standards for a 70-word themeless. If that count gets above three or four, it doesn't feel elegant to me. It's possibly passable if all the glue makes amazing things happen, but that wasn't the case today.

Some amazing clues, though:

  • [Brit discussing American politics] could be any Brit, yeah? In this case, it's Brit HUME, the American journalist. So many misdirects there!
  • A WRIST is something to (literally) keep a watch on.
  • Along that same literal path, LIZARDS are [Cold-blooded sorts], all right.

It's a shame. I think if the presentation had just been flipped, this one would have struck me more strongly.

1
W
2
R
3
I
4
S
5
T
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P
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A
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R
9
M
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A
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V
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H
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D
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A
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A
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P
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P
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F
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N
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A
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A
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L
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D
E
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G
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B
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C
A
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P
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A
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N
A
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M
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I
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A
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L
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S
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A
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F
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E
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T
A
G
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O
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T
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S
Y
S
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L
A
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P
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K
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A
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H
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A
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K
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G
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64
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© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0622 ( 25,063 )
Across
1. Something to keep a watch on : WRIST
6. Veal or chicken dish, for short : PARM
10. Hard-core : AVID
14. Like much of Shakespeare's and Sappho's love poetry : HOMOEROTIC
16. Show of hands? : TIME
17. Utopian : IDEALISTIC
18. Actress Sedgwick in Warhol films : EDIE
19. Fall back : RETREAT
20. Wise : SAPIENT
22. What drivers try not to go over : PAR
23. Guest's sleeping spot, maybe : FUTON
24. Peter or Paul, but not Mary : TSAR
27. Wood used to make electric guitars : ALDER
30. Hunk : GOB
32. Sine, cosine or tangent : RATIO
33. What Christine is in the book "Christine" : CAR
34. Medal, e.g. : PLACE
36. Take heat from? : UNARM
37. Polish-language film that won a 2014 Oscar : IDA
38. Margarita garnishes : LIMES
39. Ailment spreadable through kissing : STREP
40. TV character with a rippled snout : ALF
41. Facebook calendar addition : EVENT
42. Facebook photo addition : TAG
43. Ready for renting : TOLET
45. Part of CBS: Abbr. : SYST
46. Boutonniere's spot : LAPEL
48. "2 Broke Girls" actress Dennings : KAT
50. Cold-blooded sorts : LIZARDS
52. Behind the eight ball : INAHOLE
57. Action film weapons : UZIS
58. Lacking hormones, say : ALLNATURAL
60. King Lear's loyal servant : KENT
61. Service with a Street View option : GOOGLEMAPS
62. Lip : EDGE
63. They're of little use unless they're cracked : EGGS
64. Horse ___ : SENSE
Down
1. Fan sound : WHIR
2. Heckled : RODE
3. "___ her in a club down in old Soho" (opening lyric of "Lola") : IMET
4. Not just increase : SOAR
5. Orator's aid : TELEPROMPTER
6. Like a society in which people are said to be colorblind : POSTRACIAL
7. Many a role on TV's "Suits": Abbr. : ATT
8. Pioneering photojournalist Jacob : RIIS
9. Big espresso purveyor since 2001 : MCCAFE
10. Wiped out : ATEIT
11. Subject of some parental restrictions : VIDEOGAMES
12. "Hey, don't look at me!" : IMINNOCENT
13. Trademarked repellent : DEET
15. Pirate-fighting org. : RIAA
21. They can swing left or right : PURPLESTATES
24. Dangled a carrot in front of : TANTALIZED
25. Some late-night viewing : STARGAZING
26. Suffix for the 1% : AIRE
28. Consommé server : LADLE
29. Fantasy sports site : DRAFTKINGS
31. Sunday ___ : BEST
32. Lack of practice, metaphorically : RUST
35. Writer on the history of Rome : LIVY
44. Senescence : OLDAGE
47. Ctrl+V command : PASTE
49. Beyond stuffy : ANAL
50. Longest book in the New Testament : LUKE
51. Tough going : SLOG
53. Brit discussing American politics : HUME
54. Algerian city where Camus's "The Plague" is set : ORAN
55. Passes, in a way : LAPS
56. Something ___ : ELSE
59. Record : LOG

Answer summary: 6 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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